The oral cavity is home to a large amount of bacteria, many of which lead to diseases of the mouth and other organs. In fact, a special issue in Aegis on oral microbial wellness found, "Bacteria are a major component of the oral environment where more than 800 different microbial species co-exist, making the oral cavity the most diverse microbial population of the body." Probiotics aid in killing biofilm and plaque buildup, the main causes of bacterial diseases and infections.
Many new dental strategies involving the manipulation of good oral microbiota, which are provided by probiotics, have been implemented to prevent oral diseases. That is, many dentists, especially complete health dentists, have incorporated the use of probiotics to aid in creating a more bacterially-healthy oral environment in some patients. Patients who take probiotics orally have also seen a tremendous difference in their oral and general health.
The main difference between probiotics and prebiotics is one is alive and the other is not. Probiotics are live organisms that carry health benefits and are similar to naturally living organisms in the body. They are non-toxic and benefit the host organism by reproducing bacteria in the mouth and oral cavity that help the body stay healthy.
Prebiotics are dietary supplements that favor and increase the growth of good bacteria over bad bacteria. According to Oral DNA Labs, "They empower your existing good bacteria (or good bacteria introduced through probiotics) to survive and establish a balanced ration of good-to-bad bacteria using nutrients to influence the oral environment." The relationship between pro- and prebiotics is similar to a seed (probiotic) and fertilizer (prebiotic); one is necessary to charge the other.
Prebiotics have active agents that stimulate the growth of probiotics in the oral cavity and gut. They are natural sugars and fibers that work with healthy bacteria and yeast to promote health. Medical News Today lists the most common foods that contain prebiotics as fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds. Various types of these foods can include:● Fruits: bananas, custard apples, watermelon, grapefruit.● Vegetables: chicory, artichokes, garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, cabbage.● Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soy beans.● Cereal grains: bran, barley, oats.● Nuts and seeds: almonds, pistachios, flaxseeds
Choosing the right probiotic for a specific health condition may be difficult, but the most important factor to consider is it must contain live and active bacterial cultures. The packaging on any probiotics should indicate whether or not they contain live bacteria. It is important to research or ask a doctor about effective probiotics for a specific health condition.
The most common use of probiotics is for gut and gastrointestinal health as one of the leading homes for microorganisms is the gut. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotics, Seed’s Daily Synbiotic, and Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support are well-known probiotics for the gut. These probiotics improve IBS symptoms, relieve constipation, and mitigate diarrhea.
Gum & Periodontal Disease
Gum and periodontal disease are common effects of harmful bacteria buildup, plaque, and tartar. Probiotics eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth and reduce the amount that enters the body through various pathways. L. reuteri and L. brevis probiotics work well for gum and periodontal disease.
Probiotics are effective for all people, whether or not their health is at risk. Decreasing the amount of harmful bacteria and increasing healthy bacteria only reduces the likelihood of diseases and illnesses. Eating a probiotic-rich diet (found mostly in dairy products) and taking general health probiotics such as GNC Ultra 25 Probiotic Complex, Now Foods Probiotic-10, and 21st Century Acidophilus Probiotic Blend can help boost general health.
The recommended dose of any probiotic should be indicated on the packaging label. Each body is different and has a certain amount of live and active bacteria at any given time. Different probiotics can be effective at different levels. Thus, a product containing a higher number of live probiotics may not be better than one with fewer.
Yes, prebiotics are available in pill and powder forms. They are mostly present in our foods and naturally stimulate probiotics in our system. Prebiotics can be found most commonly in yogurt.
No, different probiotics serve different body systems and function in different ways. Probiotics are described by their genus (e.g., Lactobacillus), their species (e.g.,rhamnosus) and their strain (e.g., GG). This degree of specificity in describing a probiotic is essential since functions can be strain-specific. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG may have different effects from L. rhamnosus GR-1.
Many probiotics come in a powder form. Bacteria that are dried and stabilized correctly are in fact still alive but are considered dormant and inactive. They start to grow gradually after being placed in a moist environment.
Many foods, especially dairy products, contain probiotics, so it is inevitable that a person consumes much of the probiotics from food. Food sources of probiotics have the advantage of offering good nutrition along with the probiotic bacteria. However, supplements can be more convenient for some people and may provide higher levels of healthy bacteria, depending on the specific product.